*Disclaimer: This is an old article from a previous blog I’ve re-posted here. I no longer wear wigs regularly and rarely buy them anymore – I’ve just shared this here for informational purposes since the blog where I had it housed has shut down. Questions about wigs may not be answered right away, and questions about newer wig styles I probably won’t be able to answer. I just wanted to share the information for anyone who might need it.
Having been on this wig journey for a little over a year now, and having seen it take that long to go through the gamut of styles and colors and actually find particular styles and shades that I really consider “mine,” I’ve been thinking about what it must be like to be totally new to the whole experience and trying to get it right. It’s so frustrating to buy a wig because you need it (in my case it was damaged hair, while for others it’s chemotherapy, or sudden hair loss due to alopecia, or trichotillomania, or any other number of reasons one might feel urgency) and have to wade through the array of unfamiliar terms and options, then wait at least another week to get your wig – and that’s IF it’s in stock in the color you wanted – then get the wig, put it on, and find yourself…less than thrilled. Then you’re looking at added costs to ship the wig back to the vendor, added time to fill out a bunch of paperwork, and an added wait time of up to three weeks for the wig to be inspected and deemed resellable (or not, in which case you may eat upwards of 25% of its original cost). Then of course, you have to choose another wig, or another color, and go through the whole process again.
All of this is frustrating enough when you already have wigs to wear and are just looking to replace one that’s worn out or to try something new. But if you’re waiting on a wig to get your head covered so you can go out without a hat or scarf on and feel confident again, it can be incredibly stress-producing and even downright traumatic. Here you are dealing with hair loss, and on top of that you have the hassle and confusion that comes with trying to find the right wig for you, over and over again, until it feels hopeless.
So what to do? I don’t have any easy solutions, but from my perspective the problem can be broken down into two parts: the immediate and the long-term. In the immediate moment, you need a wig that you can reliably wear out of the house and get on with life. In the long term, you want a wig that makes you feel like you, only better; a wig that you not only feel confident and covered in but happy as well.
I suppose some people get lucky find the latter first shot. Most of us don’t. But we can find something that is decent, wearable, and convincing in the now, to allow us more time to find the perfect wig if we want to search for that later; the longer you go without anything to wear because everything you purchase gets sent back for another exchange, the more overwhelming the hair loss problem becomes. Solve the immediate problem and get a decent wig you can wear out of the house and go undiscovered, and alleviate some of that pressure and stress over finding the fabulous wig (or wigs) you’ll love.
Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can wear anything out of the house and most people are not going to notice it’s a wig. There are always exceptions to that rule, but in general I’ve found that to be the case. I’ve gone out in $15 wigs plenty of times and shocked the hell out of people by telling them I’m wearing a wig. You may not be comfortable in such a thing, but I believe it’s true that we can get away with a vast array of wigs when out in the general public; far more than we imagine. Even if the wig is only slightly similar to your current hairstyle, and just close in color but far from a direct match, chances are most people will not notice – something I have tested out and proven to myself to be true (I’ve purposely worn ridiculously cheap and shockingly different-styled wigs out of the house just to see who would notice, and the answer was always that no one did).
So perhaps one way to move forward is to look for something merely similar to your bio hair, whatever state it may be in, and similar in color, buy it, and wear that one while you take more time to find the ones you will really love. Still easier said than done, I know – my bio hair was so short when I bought my first wig I literally could not find one even close to it in length. I wish I’d known then that I could add up to 4 inches to my hair and no one around me would bat an eye, like I know now!
The idea that even a wig you think looks horrid on you probably doesn’t look that way to anyone else may be too much to accept in your current state of disarray or despair. But finding something decent to get you through the short term can still alleviate the pressure and the added costs of continually feeling under the gun to find and buy and rush-deliver the next attempt, and the next, and the next. Truth is, I’ve gone out in bio haircuts that I thought were HIDEOUS – including a dye job the day before school started (when I was a teacher) that left me with a hot pink head – and people just didn’t care. In fact, the principal at the school saw me a few days after the monstrous color was applied, so it had faded a bit but was still VERY pink, and she just said, “nice hair” and went about her business.
In that vein, one thing to check out might be stores like Wigs.com that have Top Styles or Best Sellers lists in a special section. If 200 people have written positive reviews of the Sky by Noriko (a top seller at every online Noriko retailer I’ve ever seen), chances are it’s a reliable wig to purchase. You might still feel, when you put it on your head, like you’re the one person alive who cannot pull off that style, but I bet you can. For a little while at least. Wigs don’t get that many good reviews or get purchased that often without being generally easy to wear and pass off as real hair. Try choosing your first wig from one of those lists and give yourself some time to experiment without feeling so much pressure.
Offhand, a few others I can think of that get mentioned over and again as popular sellers are: Reese by Noriko, Close Up by Raquel Welch, Amore Codi, Estetica Blake, Jon Renau Julianne, Jon Renau Ignite, and Premium by Gabor. That is by no means all of them, those are just the ones that come to mind for now.Personally, I love Brandi by Amore (as well as my aforementioned Samantha), Shilo by Noriko, and my all-time favorite Star Quality by Raquel Welch (that wig fools EVERYONE). Keep in mind, of course, that I have never worn human hair wigs so I can’t speak to that experience, but unfortunately, it is more confusing and time-consuming than buying synthetics – so I would suggest starting out with a synthetic to wear while you search for the human hair one that suits your needs!